Lonni Alameda Talks FSU 2017

On this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez talks to Florida State Seminoles Head Coach Lonni Alameda about the high expectations entering the 2017 season.

lonni-photo
Lonni Alameda taken Florida State to WCWS 2 times in last 3 seasons.

Alameda enters her 9th season coaching the Noles coming off second trip in three seasons to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series reaching the semifinals for the third time in school history and ending with a 55-10 record with a No. 4 national ranking, which tied for the highest final NFCA ranking ever for FSU.

Alameda has led the Seminoles to ACC Championship titles in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Among the topics Alameda talks about include :

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Jessica Burroughs leads Noles Pitching staff.(Photo Courtesy of FSU)
  • Expectations of 2017 season with almost entire team back from WCWS appearance.
  • Learning from experience in Oklahoma City in 2016
  • Depth on the roster on offense and pitching.
  • Being the target in the ACC and in the country
  • Jessica Burroughs leading the pitching staff
  • Leaders passing on the tradition from senior class to senior class under Alameda.
  • Being Head Coach in the NPF with USSSA Pride
  • Being involved with Canadian National team in 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
  • Softball back in the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.

Interview with Lonni Alameda Episode 74

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Alex Powers leads deep Offense attack ( Photo Courtesy of Tallahassee Democrat)

Alameda won ACC Coach of the Year for the fourth straight season in 2016 as Jessica Burroughs and Alex Powers earned ACC Pitcher and Player of the Year honors, respectively in the ACC. FSU set an ACC record with six members on the All-ACC First Team as Burroughs and Powers were joined by Ellie Cooper, Meghan King, Morgan Klaevemann and Jessica Warren. Burroughs, Powers and Warren were named NFCA All-Americans, marking the sixth time that FSU had three All-Americans in the same season.

2017 is the first time in program history the Noles return three All-Americans from a previous season.

Alameda spent summer of 2016 being the Head Coach of USSSA Pride in 2016 leading them to the best record in the NPF in regular season and took them to NPF Championship Series before falling to the Chicago Bandits in 3 games for the championship.  Balancing multiple coaching jobs is nothing new for Alameda.

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Lonni Alameda coached USSSA Pride in 2016 in the NPF.(Photo Courtesy USSSA)

Alameda helped the development of Canada’s National team from 2004 to 2008 aiding Canada up until the 2004 Summer Olympics and resumed as an assistant following the  2005 season when Alameda was  the Head Coach at UNLV. In the summer of 2006, Canada qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, after its strong showing in the World Championships. Alameda spent the summer of 2008 with the Canadian team which ended its quest for the gold with a fourth-place finish at the Beijing Olympic Games.

 

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WCWS Recap Look Ahead to 2017

On this edition of In the Circle, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson taked Justin Mcleod of Justin’s World about the Women’s College World Series. What were highlights or low lights of the 2016 editioN of the WCWS. Among the topics McLeod discussed with Lopez and Anderson. dm_160608_espnw_oklahoma_auburn

  •  How did Oklahoma win the National Title?
  • Are the Sooners the favorites in 2017?
  • What is next for Auburn?
  • What went wrong for UCLA in WCWS?
  • Whats the future outook for Alabama, Florida State?
  • What does LSU need to take the next step?
  • What went wrong for Michigan?
  • Who are some  favorites in 2017?

In The Circle : Women’s College World Series recap. Early look into 2017

McCleod also discussed Houston’s hire of Kristin Vesely as well as the hire at Virginia and what the future holds at Arizona State.

You can also check out our interview with former UCLA Bruin, Jen Schroeder who shared her thoughts on the 2016 Women’s College World Series as well her thoughts on the state of the game and much more.

Auburn vs Oklahoma Game 3 Led Cable Sports Ratings

Game 3 between the Auburn Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners was the most watched Sports program on Cable Television on Wednesday night. The Sooners 2-1 win over the Tigers was watched by 1,476,000 million viewers Wednesday Night crushing head to head the Copa American Soccer game between Brazil and Haiti (643,000) according to SportsTVRatings.com dm_160608_espnw_oklahoma_auburn

Game 3 was slightly up from Game two when Auburn coming back from 7-0 deficit to win  11-7 in 8 innings garnered 1.43 million viewers which was just slightly edge out by United States win over Costa Rica in Copa America (1.453 million).

Overall the three game series between Auburn and Oklahoma averaged 1.3123 million viewers as Game one between the Sooners and Tigers drew 1.031 million viewers on Monday night. This year’s Women’s College World Series Championship Series viewers is down from last year’s Championship Series between Florida and Michigan which averaged 1.85 million viewers.  Keep in mind though this year Championship Series had much more competition compared to last year. Game 3 went up against Game 3 of NBA Finals coverage on Wednesday. Game one went up against Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals. Game Two went up against the United States playing in Copa America. smithmendozamowins

Also last year Championship Series had Michigan in Championship who is one of the top TV draws in College Softball as shown on Sunday afternoon when the Wolverine’s  elimation loss to Florida State had 976,000 viewers which was the most watched Non Championship Series Women’s College World Series game.  Below is the numbers of all the Women’s College World Series.

Sunday June 5, 2016  TV Viewers.  

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Oklahoma’s Patty Gasso

Michigan vs Florida State  976,000  on ESPN

Florida State vs Auburn    779,000 on ESPN2

Georgia vs LSU    581,000 on ESPN2

Oklahoma vs LSU 576,000 on ESPN2

Saturday June 4, 2016

LSU vs Alabama 831,000 on ESPN

Oklahoma vs Michigan 732,000 on ESPN2

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Michigan’s Carol Hutchens

UCLA vs Florida State 705,000 on ESPN

Auburn vs Georgia  621,000 on ESPN2

Friday June 3, 2016

LSU vs Michigan 719,000 on ESPN2

Alabama vs Oklahoma 602,000 on ESPN2

Thursday’s Auburn Tigers 10-3 win over UCLA was the most watched Women’s College World Series game on Thursday. Keep in mind the primetime games between Alabama  versus Oklahoma and LSU versus Michigan were rained out.  Auburn versus UCLA had 474,000 viewersaccording to SportsTVRatings.com. Auburn-UCLA is down from last year’s game at same time slot between Auburn and LSU which garnered 562,000 viewers.

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The twenty seven innings of Alabama-Oklahoma had 458,000 viewers. Georgia’s win over Florida State  garnered 334,000 viewers which significantly down from last year’s Florida- Tennessee game in the same time slot which had 546,000 viewers.

Last year’s Auburn-LSU game was a week earlier on May 28, 2015. LSU-Auburn was the second most watched game at the WCWS last year on Thursday with  Alabama-Michigan which was in primetime last year had over 1 million viewers was number one. UCLA last year played the late game against Oregon which garnered 317,000 viewers.

Its worth noting that last year, Opening day of the Women’s College World Series did not go up against the NBA Finals which dominated the television coverage all day on Thursday. The Women’s College World Series did have better viewers then the X-Games which aired on ESPN and drew 317,000 viewers in primetime.

UCLA-Auburn Leads WCWS Viewers Thursday

 

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Thursday’s Auburn Tigers 10-3 win over UCLA was the most watched Women’s College World Series game on Thursday. Keep in mind the primetime games between Alabama  versus Oklahoma and LSU versus Michigan were rained out.  Auburn versus UCLA had 474,000 viewersaccording to SportsTVRatings.com. Auburn-UCLA is down from last year’s game at same time slot between Auburn and LSU which garnered 562,000 viewers.scarborough

The twenty seven innings of Alabama-Oklahoma had 458,000 viewers. Georgia’s win over Florida State  garnered 334,000 viewers which significantly down from last year’s Florida- Tennessee game in the same time slot which had 546,000 viewers.

Last year’s Auburn-LSU game was a week earlier on May 28, 2015. LSU-Auburn was the second most watched game at the WCWS last year on Thursday with  Alabama-Michigan which was in primetime last year had over 1 million viewers was number one. UCLA last year played the late game against Oregon which garnered 317,000 viewers.

Its worth noting that last year, Opening day of the Women’s College World Series did not go up against the NBA Finals which dominated the television coverage all day on Thursday. The Women’s College World Series did have better viewers then the X-Games which aired on ESPN and drew 317,000 viewers in primetime.

 

Arizona-Auburn Lead Super Regional Ratings

Game two of Arizona-Auburn Super Regionals was the most watched Super Regional game of the week. The Tigers win in Game two over Arizona on ESPN Sunday was seen by 654,000 viewers. It edge out Game two between LSU and James Madison on Saturday which aired on ESPN had 637,000. Both Game three’s of the series were pushed to ESPNU which saw a drop in viewers with Auburn-Arizona Game three garnering only 306,000 viewers while LSU-JMU Game 3 was seen on ESPNU by 153,000. Arizona- Auburn Game Three was the most viewed Super Regional Game that aired on ESPNU.

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LSU advances to WCWS with win over JMU

Sunday ESPN had scheduled MLS game between Orlando City and New York City FC which caused the Auburn-Arizona Game three to be moved to ESPNU. You do have to wonder if ESPN though should reconsider moving Game 3’s to lesser channel in the future.

Game Two between Washington and Alabama had 630,000 viewers on Saturday. The game also aired on ESPN.  Game Two between UCLA and Oregon was the most watched Super Regional game that aired on ESPN2 with 408,000 viewers on Sunday.

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Patrick Murphy’s Alabama Back to WCWS

Below is breakdown of all the TV numbers for every Super Regional Game.

Thursday May 26, 2016

ESPN2                                      

Louisiana Lafayette at Oklahoma  (Game 1)  377,000 viewers

Georgia at Florida                               (Game 1) 336,000 viewers

Friday May 27, 2016

ESPN 2 

Washington at Alabama ( Game 1)             364,000 viewers

Georgia at Florida  (Game 2)                           230,000 viewers

ESPNU

Louisiana Lafayette at Oklahoma (Game 2)   198,000 vewers

LSU at James Madison (Game 1)                         189,000 viewers

Utah at Florida State ( Game 1)                           118,000 viewers

Saturday May 28, 2016 

ESPN

LSU at James Madison ( Game 2)                  637,000

Washington at Alabama ( Game 2)              630,000

UCLA at Oregon ( Game 1)                              447,000

Missouri at Michigan ( Game 1)                   427,000

ESPN2

Arizona at Auburn ( Game 1)                        366,000

Utah at Florida State ( Game 2)                    189,000

ESPNU 

LSU at James Madison ( Game 3)                 153,000

Sunday May 29, 2016

Arizona at Auburn ( Game 2)                 654,000

Missouri at Michigan ( Game 2)           599,000

ESPN2

UCLA at Oregon ( Game 2)                    408,000

UCLA at Oregon ( Game 3)                     303,000

ESPNU

Arizona at Auburn ( Game 3)                306,000

 

 

Super Regional Recap, WCWS Preview

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On this edition of In The Circle, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson break down the Super Regionals as well as look ahead to the Women’s College World Series. Among the topics the guys discussed included should Oregon’s  Head Coach Mike White brought in Cheridan Hawkins in Game 2 vs UCLA? Also the guys talked about

  • Georgia- Florida Super Regional
  • Lonni Alameda bringing FSU back to WCWS
  • Beth Torina taking LSU to WCWS coming from behind against James Madison
  •  Oklahoma, Michigan, Auburn, UCLA, and Alabama Super Regional wins
  • Who the favorite in Oklahoma City?

In The Circle Podcast : Super Regional Recap and WCWS Preview 

  • You can also listen to our interview with former Michigan All-American and National Champion Jennie Ritter who TV analyst for ESPN and Big Ten Network who broke down Georgia win over Florida, Previewed the WCWS, and talked about the Michigan program.
  • You can also listen to our interview with former Oklahoma Catcher National Champion Jessica Shults about the Sooners making it to the Women’s College World Series and reflecting on being part of 2013 National Championship team.

 

 

LSU-Auburn Tops Viewers for Season

The SEC Championship game between LSU and Auburn was the most watched College Softball game of the season to date. The Auburn Tigers win over LSU garnered 587,000 viewers on Saturday on ESPN according to SportsTVRatings.com . It beat the Georgia-Alabama game on May 7th which had 505,000 viewers on ESPN.

This year SEC Title game is down from last year’s SEC Title game between Auburn and Tennessee had 887,000 viewers. Keep in mind though that last year’s SEC title game aired on primetime compared to this year’s 5pm eastern start time.

The ACC Championship game between Notre Dame and Florida State that aired before the SEC Championship game on ESPN had 486,000 viewers making it the most watched ACC Softball championship game ever as it was up from last year’s ACC Title game between Florida State and Pittsburgh which had 453,000 viewers. The American Conference Championship game between South Florida and Tulsa which aired on ESPN had 484,000 viewers. It was the first time the American Conference Championship game aired on ESPN and did not go up against a Softball game.

Last year Championship game between Tulsa and UCF aired on ESPN2 went head to head against the ACC Championship game at the same time. In 2014 The American Conference Tournament  was effected by rain so it aired Semi-final game between UCF and Rutgers from Houston on ESPN2 that went up against a regular season Big 12 Softball game.

The Big East Championship game between St John’s and Butler had  tough competition going up against ACC and SEC title games on a lesser network airing on Fox Sports 2. The game garnered 24,000 viewers which did triple last year’s Big East Title game between St John’s and Seton Hall which had 8,000 viewers.

The NCAA Selection Show on Sunday night that aired on ESPNU garnered 109,000 viewers.

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU Softball Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
March 18 7 p.m. No. 16 Tennessee at No. 1 Florida ESPNU-  74K
March 24 5 p.m. Mississippi Valley State at Texas Southern ESPNU-44K
March 26 Noon  Florida at  LSU ESPN2-250K
  9 p.m.  Texas at  Baylor ESPN2-164K
April 2 Noon  Alabama at  Florida ESPN2-298k
  12pm

10:30 p.m.

Tennessee at MissouriUCLA at  Oregon ESPNU-101kESPNU- 99K
April 3 7 p.m. Ole Miss at Mississippi State ESPNU- 91k
April 8 7 p.m. Coastal Carolina at Winthrop ESPNU- 67K
April 9 Noon  Texas A&M at  Tennessee ESPNU- 135k
  5:30 p.m. NC State at  Florida State ESPNU-89k
  3 p.m.  Kentucky at LSU ESPN – 392k
  7:30 p.m.  Georgia at  Missouri ESPNU-163K
April 10 3 p.m.  Oklahoma at  Baylor ESPN2- 208K
  4 p.m. NC State at  Florida State ESPNU- 73k
April 16 1 p.m.3pm  Tennessee at  GeorgiaTexas at Oklahoma ESPN 2-207kESPN2-219K
 April 17 12 p.m.  Missouri at Kentucky ESPNU- 163k
April 23 2 p.m.430pm  Georgia at  AuburnTexas AM at Missouri ESPNU-75KESPNU-112K
  2 p.m.  Oklahoma at  Tennessee ESPN- 311K
  5 p.m.  UCLA at  Arizona ESPN2-182k
April 24 3:30 p.m. Notre Dame at North Carolina ESPNU-70K
  5 p.m.  UCLA at  Arizona ESPN2-166k
April 25 7 p.m.  Notre Dame at North Carolina ESPNU-88K
April 27 6 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU-45k
  10:30 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU*-34K
April 28 4 p.m. Bethune-Cookman at Florida A&M ESPNU-41K
April 30 7 p.m.  LSU at Arkansas ESPNU- 148K
  8 p.m.  Auburn at  Tennessee ESPN2-Rain Out
May 1 3 p.m.  Arizona at  Oregon ESPN2- 183K
  5 p.m. UCF at USF ESPNU-124k
 
May 7 Noon  Georgia at  Alabama ESPN- 505k
  1 p.m.  Texas A&M at  Auburn ESPN- 418K
  1pm

3 p.m.

Arkansas at Florida 

South Carolina at  Missouri

ESPNU- 73K

ESPNU-58K

May 13 12pm

3 p.m.

Auburn vs Alabama

LSU vs Tennessee

ESPNU- 81K

ESPNU- 148K

  5:30 p.m. Auburn vs Florida  ESPNU- 183K
May 14 Noon Tulsa vs South Florida ESPN- 484K
  2 p.m. Notre Dame vs Florida State ESPN- 486K
  5 p.m. LSU vs Auburn ESPN- 587K
May 14 3pm Butler vs St John’s  FS2- 24k

Kentucky-LSU Tops Softball TV Viewers

Beth Torina
Beth Torina – Photo by LSUSports.Net

The Kentucky Wildcats win over the LSU Tigers on Saturday was the most watched regular season college softball game of 2016 to date. The 15th rank Wildcats win over the 8th rank Tigers on Saturday which was televised on ESPN Garnered 392,000 viewers passing by Alabama-Florida as the most watched regular season game of the season.

Oklahoma’s win at Baylor on Sunday which was televised on ESPN2 was the second most watched Softball game of the weekend with 208,000 viewers followed by  two SEC conferences series in Georgia-Missouri on Saturday which garnered 163,000 viewers on ESPNU  and Tennessee-Texas AM garnered 135,000 viewers on Saturday on ESPNU.

Florida State’s wins over North Carolina State on ESPNU on Saturday and Sunday averaged 81K in the two games with Saturday’s game being the most watched of the two with 89k.

LSU is involved in two of the three most watched Softball games this regular season with the Tigers game vs Florida on March 26th garnering 250K.  All the Softball numbers are courtesy of SportsTVRatings.com

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU Softball Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Network
March 18 7 p.m. No. 16 Tennessee at No. 1 Florida ESPNU-  74K
March 24 5 p.m. Mississippi Valley State at Texas Southern ESPNU-44K
March 26 Noon  Florida at  LSU ESPN2-250K
  9 p.m.  Texas at  Baylor ESPN2-164K
April 2 Noon  Alabama at  Florida ESPNU-298k
  12pm

10:30 p.m.

Tennessee at Missouri

UCLA at  Oregon

ESPNU-101k

ESPNU- 99K

April 3 7 p.m. Ole Miss at Mississippi State ESPNU- 91k
April 8 7 p.m. Coastal Carolina at Winthrop ESPNU- 67K
April 9 Noon  Texas A&M at  Tennessee ESPNU- 135k
  5:30 p.m. NC State at  Florida State ESPNU-89k
  3 p.m.  Kentucky at LSU ESPN – 392k
  7:30 p.m.  Georgia at  Missouri ESPNU-163K
April 10 3 p.m.  Oklahoma at  Baylor ESPN2- 208K
  4 p.m. NC State at  Florida State ESPNU- 73k
April 16 1 p.m.  Tennessee at  Georgia ESPN2
  3 p.m.  Texas at  Oklahoma ESPN2
April 23 2 p.m.  Georgia at  Auburn ESPNU
  4:30 p.m.  Oklahoma at  Tennessee ESPNU
  5 p.m.  UCLA at  Arizona ESPN2
April 24 3:30 p.m. Notre Dame at North Carolina ESPNU
  5 p.m.  UCLA at  Arizona ESPN2
April 25 7 p.m.  Notre Dame at North Carolina ESPNU
April 27 6 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU
  10:30 p.m. Long Beach State at Cal State Fullerton ESPNU*
April 28 4 p.m. Bethune-Cookman at Florida A&M ESPNU
April 30 7 p.m.  LSU at Arkansas ESPNU
  8 p.m.  Auburn at  Tennessee ESPN2
May 1 3 p.m.  Arizona at  Oregon ESPN2
  5 p.m. UCF at USF ESPNU
  7 p.m.  Auburn at Tennessee ESPNU
May 7 Noon  Georgia at  Alabama ESPN
  1 p.m.  Texas A&M at  Auburn ESPNU
  3 p.m. South Carolina at  Missouri ESPNU
May 13 3 p.m. SEC Tournament ESPNU
  5:30 p.m. SEC Tournament ESPNU
May 14 Noon American Championship ESPN
  2 p.m. ACC Championship ESPN
  5 p.m. SEC Championship ESPN
May 15 10 a.m. SWAC Softball Championship ESPNU**

Lonni Alameda Talks FSU 2016 Season

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FSU’s Lonni Alameda Photo Courtesy of Seminoles.com

Eric Lopez previews the 2016 Florida State Seminoles season with Head Coach Lonni Alameda. Alameda, who is entering her 8th season at Florida State, talks to Lopez about the following.

  • Outlook of the 2016 season
  • Who are some of the players to look for this season?
  • Breaking down FSU’s schedule
  • Hosting the ACC/Big 10 Challenge
  • Outlook for the ACC in 2016
  • The strength of the ACC compared to other Power conferences.

Listen to the full interview with Lonni Alameda below:

Lonni Alameda Interview

The Noles come in ranked 10th in the NFCA Poll will begin life after Lacey Waldrop who was a first NFCA First team All-American and USA Softball National Player of the Year in 2014. The Seminoles will be led in the circle by Jessica Burroughs who was  The 2015 ACC Tournament MVP and help the Noles win the Tallahassee Regional last year over UCF. Burroughs who was named to USA Softball Players of the Year watch list will lead a Seminole pitching staff with several new members. Burroughs, a redshirt junior, went 19-6 last year with a 2.08 ERA and 219 strikeouts. Alameda will have three new pitchers in

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Jessica Burroughs will lead Noles Staff in 2016

the circle to be behind Burroughs with redshirt freshman Meghan King , true freshmen Tessa Daniels and Abby Evans.

On offense the Seminoles will have to replace Maddie O’Brien who led the country with 83 RBI in 2014 on her way to becoming a All-American. O’Brien owns FSU career records in home runs, and RBIs.

The Noles offense will be led by Jessica Warren who looks to build on a great freshman season where she lead the team with 19 home runs and 57 RBI and was named the 2015 ACC Freshman of the Year. Outfielder Morgan Klaevemann posted a team-high .393 batting average as a freshman in 2015 and recorded a 26-game hitting streak from March 25 to May 17 – the second-longest in FSU history and tied for No. 24 in NCAA history.

There are 12 new players for the 2016 team, with two redshirt freshmen, one junior transfer and nine true freshmen.

The 2016 regular season schedule the Seminoles will play a total of seven games against four teams that finished in the top five of the final 2015 NFCA poll and will face eight teams that were ranked at the end of the season.

The Noles will open the 2016 season with the FIU Invitational on February 12-14 in Miami, Fla. Florida State will play its first games at home on JoAnne Graf Field on February 19-21, hosting the inaugural ACC/Big Ten Challenge as No. 2 Michigan and No. 14 Minnesota come to town, along with Virginia Tech. FSU will also have two-game series with No. 1 Florida and No. 4 Auburn and will hit the road for games at No. 7 UCLA, No. 17 UCF and No. 25 Notre Dame.

Listen to Lonni Alameda Interview Here

 

 

 

 

ACC Season Outlook

 

The Seminoles have been dominant in the ACC winning the Conference title the last two seasons. The Noles return 12 players from the 2015 squad that finished 49-14 on the season and  reached the NCAA Super Regional round for the third consecutive season and ranked No. 10 in the final poll by both the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and USA Softball.

Florida State has to replace 2014 National Player of the Year winner in pitcher Lacy Waldrop who now with the Chicago Bandits in the NPF and shortstop Maddie O’Brien who also is playing in the NPF. The Noles will look to The 2015 ACC Tournament MVP Jessica Burroughs  to be the ace of the Noles. Burroughs  went 19-6 last year with a 2.08 ERA and 219 strikeouts and was named on USA Softball Top 50 players watch list.

Jessica Warren looks to build on a freshman season where she led the team with 19 home runs and 57 RBI and was named the 2015 ACC Freshman of the Year.

The question is who can challenge the Noles?  Last year the ACC had 6 teams in the NCAA tournament. Notre Dame hosted a regional as 16 national seed last season and return strong nucleus of the team and figureds to be the biggest threat to Florida State.

North Carolina will be led by Kristen Brown who figures to be a high draft pick in the NPF barclay_-_marshallDraft in April. Tar Heels Head Coach Donna Pappa hired in the off-season Chelsey Barclay to handle the pitching staff. Barclay coached the pitchers at Cal Poly and Marshall where she coached Andi Williamson who now pitcher in the NPF with the USSSA Pride.

Other teams to be in the mix include Pittsburgh who made it to ACC Tournament obrien-angelachampionship game last season which help them get into the ACC Tournament. North Carolina State made the Super Regionals last year but will have to replace ace pitcher Emily Weiman who won 31 games for the Wolfpack last year.  Virginia Tech will look to continue to extend on NCAA tournament streak as the Hokies have made it 4 straight years have a young offense will be depedent on pitching staff that returns 2 starting pitchers and have freshman Olivia Lattin who coached by asst coach Angela Tincher.

In the Circle podcast, Eric Lopez and Victor Anderson spoke with Justin McCleod of Justin’s World about the outlook for the ACC in 2016. Some of the topics discussed were as follows :

  • Can FSU get back to Oklahoma City?
  • Who is biggest threat to the Noles in the ACC?
  • What impact will Chelsey Barclay have on the Tar Heels?
  • Can the ACC duplicate 6 teams in NCAA like last year?

In the Circle Podcast : ACC Preview

Players to Watch According to Justin McCleod :

– Kristen Brown, North Carolina – Brown may be the best-kept secret in all of college softball. Did you know she was not only an all-American, but a top 25 finalist for National Player of the Year a season ago? Most seem to glaze over her name in favor of the headline-grabbers like Chamberlain, Romero, etc. but any and all would be remiss to look past Brown in consideration for the best players in the nation in 2016. She owns a career .346 career batting average, as well as the UNC career home runs mark. She led the conference in home runs, RBI, and slugging percentage last season and is one of the increasingly-less-rare power-hitting middle infielders. She should have an excellent chance to reach the pros this summer, though she’s likely to add a few more trophies and awards in college first.
– Shelby Pickett, Pittsburgh – The redshirt senior and former Ohio State Buckeye hit .350 a year ago in her first playing season as a Panther (she transferred prior to 2014, but sat out that year due to an injury). She’s got some pop in her bat and I think she could have a career year this season. She’ll be someone the Panthers can lean on to lead their offensive attack if they are to fulfill my prediction and get back to the postseason.
– Allie Rhodes/Rachel Nasland, Notre Dame – You might not find this duo on any lists of dominant pitching staffs nationwide, but they are a solid 1-2 punch in the circle for the Irish. Rhodes had a breakout campaign a year ago, recording a 20-5 record with a 2.81 ERA. Nasland went 17-9 and opponents hit just .207 against her in more than 180 innings of work. The duo complement each other well and pose a real problem for opposing offenses. If they can continue their high-level consistency of a year ago, they could help the Irish go places themselves in the postseason. 
– Victoria East, Florida State – A two-time all-conference selection, East suffered a down year in 2015. Moving from starting first baseman to primarily a corner outfielder had an effect on her production, as did a diminished amount of playing time. She has shown an ability to play extremely well at this level of the game, and if she can find her groove and return to the form of her freshman and sophomore campaigns, the ‘Noles may have no choice but to find a spot for her in the everyday lineup.
Eric Lopez Projections for NCAA Tournament Teams in ACC- 4 Teams
Florida State
Notre Dame
North Carolina
Pittsburgh

You can check out the Previews of Other Conferences :

Big Ten Preview Right Here

Pac 12 Preview Right here.

SEC Preview right here.

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